A/N: Thanks for reading. Oh yeah, make sure you have an extra pair of pants with you when you read this. You may need them afterwards. Ha-ha, just kidding. Much thanks to EmmyMK for reviewing! This chapter is dedicated to you, EmmyMK.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything of Harry Potter nor the Band of Brothers miniseries. This is purely fictional. I mean no disrespect to the legitimate members of Easy Company. I give them nothing but my utmost admiration.
"In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?"
-"The Tyger"- William Blake
(Katie Bell's Perspective)
It was at that moment that the urgency of the task struck her. If she failed, it would surely mean the demise of every person in the castle. She gulped as fear doubled its weight on her bones. All of her friends-annihilated. The beloved castle-obliterated. Meaningless slaughter. And it was her duty to prevent these acts from coming to fruition. Hers alone.
And then the ultimate finality of the ordeal resounded through her skull as she took that first quiet step onto the Hogwart's lawn.
"So then, the broad takes one look at me and says 'Takes one to know one'!"
Hearty laughter perforated the night air. A five-some of soldiers, composed of Lieutenant Winters, Sergeant Guarnere, Private Luz and the recently added Lieutenant Compton and Private Hoobler, sat upon the dewy grass that surrounded Hagrid's hut, the shack which had seized a hold of Guarnere's parachute. It had been not but ten minutes since Buck and Hoobler had been re-united with three of their Easy Company brethren, and it was like the drop had never occurred; just friends hanging out, albeit in the middle of an unknown countryside in front of a mysterious castle.
"You know, Luz, you're the only fella' that I know that would let a broad walk all over ya'."
"I said it once and I'll say it again: 'Shut up, Guarnere.'"
More raucous peals of laughter were loosed from the gathered paratroopers, who were beginning to slowly ease the tension of the drop from their hearts. They had set up a make-shift camp-of-sorts, leg bags arranged in a pentagonal shape as seats, a small fire blazing in the center, and Hoobler's helmet positioned above said fire, cooking whatever they could scrounge up from their K-rations.
"Why do you guys have to use my helmet to cook the shit?" Hoobler griped.
"Two reasons," began Luz. "One: you're Hoobler, and two-,"
"Keep it down, boys," said Compton, who had his back turned to the men and was analyzing a map with Winters. "We don't need the Krauts to become aware of our location because of Luz's loudmouth wisecracks." His deep voice held a note of jest.
"Yeah, you can say that, sir, but I know you'll always have a soft spot for my humor."
"I'll admit that when I'm in a grave."
Genial chuckles were exchanged.
There are but a few emotions that a person under the gaze of Death feels. First, nervousness, in an extreme degree. Then there's fervent anticipation. And lastly, either a sense of un-fulfillment or completion. Some call it 'when your life flashes before you're eyes'. A replaying of one's years spent on Earth.
This was how Katie Bell felt.
The Invisibility Cloak that was wrapped tightly around her, concealing her completely, was producing a whooshing sound as she made a slow, languid waltz of a crouched walk across the lawn. Her path was clear: to get in as close a proximity as possible to a group of figures situated around Hagrid's hut. As far as she could tell, there were five of them seated around a campfire.
So they are people. That's comforting. In a twisted sense.
Step by step and inch by inch she drew nearer and nearer to the outlines of people.
Slow, Katie. Nice and easy.
She patted her side in tenseness, checking for her wand. A twinge of relief sprinkled over her as her hands felt the cold wood.
She was coming closer and closer. Only a little way left.
Suddenly, she felt the Cloak stiffen around her shoulders. It was hooked on something.
What the bloody…?
Katie made an effort to turn around to look at what had snagged the invisible veil:
And with a cruel swish, the Cloak fell from around her.
"Hey, you guys hear something?"
Guarnere posed the question to the quintet of soldiers.
They all turned from what they were respectively doing and peered out at the empty lawn that led to the castle.
"Nah, Bill, I think you've just gone off-,"
Suddenly and inexplicably, the unintelligible figure of Katie Bell popped into their visions. They instantaneously jumped to their feet.
"Oh shit! A Kraut sentry!" shouted Luz. "Someone-,"
A single shot rang out in the night.
Katie Bell's world slowed to a crawl as she felt a massive, devastating pain erupt in her shoulder. She watched as it was torn open by an unknown force, sending her blood flying into the air and cascading down her front. Her body subsequently went weak. Blurriness overtook her sight.
She stumbled once. Twice. And fell to the earth like a rag-doll.
A cold, silent second passed. The tension reached its zenith.
Then it was broken.
"Nice shot, Hoob!" cried Luz. "Didn't know you had it in you!"
"Yeah," added Guarnere. "Quick thinking, Hoobler. I like it."
The men each clapped Hoobler on the shoulder in turn, as if he was a hero, and ran to the prostrate body of the "Kraut".
Hoobler didn't go with the men. He turned, pleased with himself, and sat right back down. He looked appreciatively at the M-1 held in his clammy hands.
Barely another moment passed before a howl filled with disbelief and urgency reached his ears.
"Hoobler! This ain't a German; it's a girl!"
Brief Preview of Chapter 7:
The cry hit Eugene Roe's ears like a freight train.
He took off in the direction of the shout as fast as his legs would carry him.
A/N: So there it is. Wow, that was a hard one to get out. Hope you guys enjoyed it! Now onto the reviews:
EmmyMk:Thanks so much for reviewing! I hope you like this chapter, with all its tension-y goodness. You'll be in for an even better one next update. Thanks again!